Lazy Caturday Reads

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This has been one hell of a week. It was just a few days ago that Donald Trump was charged with 34 felony counts and arraigned in a Manhattan court, but that earthshaking event has been eclipsed by subsequent shocking news stories

There was the Tennessee legislature’s racist treatment of two young black representatives–Justin Jones and Justin Pearson–ending in their expulsion from the state legislature for protesting last week’s school shooting in Memphis; the election in Wisconsin that put a Democrat on the state supreme court, giving liberals a majority for the first time in many years; the stunning revelations about Clarence Thomas’s acceptance of millions of dollars worth of gifts from wealthy Republican donor Harlan Crow; and finally the insane ruling by Texas judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk that could ban the abortion pill mifepristone nationwide.

Two more stories to watch broke yesterday: Elon Musk has banned linking to Substack newsletters in a move that could actually kill Twitter, and a number of classified U.S. documents that reveal top secret information have been published on line.

I’ll touch on as many of these stories as I can.

Dan Baltz writes at The Washington Post: A dizzying, divisive week in politics spotlights America’s raging battle.

Few weeks may beas revealing of the current state of American politics as the one that just passed. In New York, Wisconsin and Tennessee, what transpired highlighted the raging battle underway over the direction of the country, a struggle that seems destined only to intensify as the 2024 election approaches.

The action came with such speed and from enough varying angles that, even for those paying close attention, it was sometimes difficult to absorb and process one event before the nexttook precedence. At this week’s end came dueling decisions from two federal judges who issued contradictory rulings late Friday about access to an abortion drug, creating a legal standoff over mifepristone that seemed destined for the Supreme Court.

Americans may be exhausted by the turmoil and chaos of the Trump years, but there seems no slackening or pulling back. Each event in the past week seemed to reinforce the overall stakes. There could be more such weeks ahead. Each iteration of this past dizzying week was a reminder of how much the coming election in 2024matters and how unsettled things remain.

Former president DonaldTrump faces more possible indictments, federally and in Georgia, which could addboth strength and weakness to his political profile while further roiling the electorate. Republican legislatures continue to push boundaries on abortion, with legislation calling for bans after six weeks of pregnancy in contradiction of public sentiment. Racial politics remain at the forefront, and there seems no likelihood of a calming on that front as Republicans attack Democratic “wokeness” and Democrats fight against efforts to minimize the power and voice of Black voters.

For Republicans, last week’snews was almost uniformly bad, although some in the party probably do not see it that way. The damage inflicted by past and present actions continues to define a new Republican Party, one that has been consolidating power in many red states but vulnerable elsewhere — especially in states that could decide the next presidential election.

Read the rest at the WaPo.

The Tennessee Three

Natalie Allison at Politico Magazine: No One Should Be That Shocked by What’s Happening in Tennessee. I covered the statehouse for years. It’s been heading in this direction for a while.

The world of politics experienced a collective shock this week as Tennessee Republicans expelled two young, Black, Democratic House members for protesting gun laws on the chamber floor after a deadly school shooting in Nashville.

But for those who have closely watched the chamber in recent years, the events were of little surprise. The place has been defined by partisan vitriol, pique, scandal, racism and Olympic-level pettiness for years.

Happy-Easter-cats-with-pussy-willowsI know. I covered it.

The protest and subsequent expulsion over decorum rules took place in a chamber where a GOP member, for years, rang a cowbell every day of session as a raucous, attention-grabbing substitute for applause.

When I covered the Tennessee Capitol from 2018 to 2021, the family-values espousing Republican House speaker had to explain why his text message trail included discussions of pole-dancing women and his chief of staff’s sexual encounters in the bathroom of a hot chicken restaurant.

After a Republican lawmaker was accused of sexually assaulting 15- and 16-year-old girls he had taught and coached, he was made chairman of the House education committee.

Protesters filled the halls week after week, year after year, calling for the removal of the bust of the Ku Klux Klan’s first Grand Wizard, a piece of art featured prominently between the House and Senate chambers. Democrats pushed for its removal, while Republicans resisted.

A Democrat who declined to support the current speaker’s reelection had her office moved into a small, windowless room. In a twist of fate, that same Democrat, Rep. Gloria Johnson, a white woman, narrowly escaped expulsion on Thursday. (Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson fared differently.)

And then, of course, there was the famous peeing incident, where a legislator’s office chair was urinated on in an act of intraparty retribution over shitposting. The actual identity of the Republican urinator is a closely-held secret among a small group of operatives who have bragged about witnessing it. But it’s generally accepted that former state Rep. Rick Tillis, a Republican and the brother of U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, did indeed have his chair peed on in the Cordell Hull legislative office building.

Read the rest at Politico.

The Guardian: Kamala Harris praises courage of ‘Tennessee Three’ on visit to Nashville.

About 500 people packed the chapel at Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee, and sang the civil rights anthem This Little Light of Mine while they waited for US vice-president Kamala Harris to appear. When she did, the crowd erupted in cheers.

Harris and her listeners were there to show support for her fellow Democrats and state lawmakers Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson – Jones and Pearson were ousted from the Republican-controlled Tennessee house of representatives after joining a protest in favor of gun control at the capitol in Nashville, and Johnson narrowly survived an expulsion vote.

“We are here because [Jones, Pearson and Johnson] and their colleagues in the Democratic caucus chose to show courage in the face of extreme tragedy,” Harris said, alluding to how the targeted representatives stood with gun control advocates after the killings of three students and three staffers at the Covenant elementary school in Nashville on 27 March. “They chose to lead and show courage and say that a democracy allows for places where the people’s voice will be heard and honored and respected.”

The vice-president said they also added another chapter to a vibrant local history of civil rights activism that previously saw sit-ins at segregated lunch counters led by the late US congressman John Lewis and his movement colleague Diane Nash, saying it was on their “broad shoulders upon which we all stand”.

pussy-willow-cats-Fat Cat Art

Pussy Willow Cats, by Svetlana Petrova of Fat Cat Art

What the Tennessee Three did:

Harris’s visit punctuated a dramatic week for the so-called “Tennessee Three”, who faced expulsion proceedings after talking without being given the floor by the Republican house speaker Cameron Sexton. Johnson, Jones and Pearson said they spoke out in that manner because capitol staff had cut their microphones off when they attempted to bring up gun control and regulation efforts in response to the shooting deaths at Covenant.

Jones and Pearson led chants from protesters in favor of their proposed measures with a bullhorn while Johnson stood by them silently in solidarity.

Their colleagues then drew up papers to expel all three from the seats in the chamber to which they were democratically elected. Votes on Thursday left Jones and Pearson – two Black men and the house’s youngest members – ousted while Johnson, a 60-year-old white woman, managed to keep her seat by a single vote.

“A democracy says you do not silence the people, you do not stifle the people, you do not turn off their microphones when they are speaking,” Harris said, outraged. “These leaders had to get a bullhorn to be heard.”

Clarence Thomas’ Corruption

Josh Meyer at USA Today: In defending gifts from a GOP billionaire, Clarence Thomas raises more questions among his critics.

After two decades of criticism over the lavish trips and other gifts he’s accepted from billionaire GOP megadonor Harlan Crow, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas finally went public on Friday to defend himself.

In a statement, Thomas said “colleagues and others in the judiciary” not only blessed his cozy relationship with the Texas real estate developer but determined that he didn’t have to publicly disclose the gifts on his annual financial disclosure statements.

Legal experts and Democratic lawmakers, however, said Thomas’ explanation raises a lot more questions than answers.

“And these are questions that he should answer under oath, under penalty of perjury,” said Lisa Graves, the former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.

“He needs to name every person he spoke with who gave him such advice, and whether they’re in government or outside the government,” Graves told USA TODAY. “Because I would be shocked if he actually told any official the specifics of what he was doing and that they said it was okay not to disclose it.” [….]

Ethics and legal experts told USA TODAY on Friday that Supreme Court law and policy is indeed vague when it comes to such gifts. While the justices are required to report gifts they have received on their annual financial disclosure reports, an exemption is allowed for hospitality from friends.

Several ethics experts, including Graves, said the hospitality exemption intended for the receipt of small personal gifts from longtime friends, not lavish gifts like weeklong resort stays and international jet and yacht trips….

Late Friday, congressional Democrats responded by calling on Chief Justice John Roberts to launch an investigation into Thomas’ “unethical, and potentially unlawful, conduct at the Supreme Court.”

“We believe that it is your duty as Chief Justice ‘to safeguard public faith in the judiciary,’ and that fulfilling that duty requires swift, thorough, independent and transparent investigation into these allegations,” the lawmakers, led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), wrote in a letter.

Read more at USA Today. See also ProPublica’s response to Thomas’s weak excuses: Clarence Thomas Defends Undisclosed “Family Trips” with GOP Megadonor. Here Are the Facts.

black cat maypole danceInteresting story about Thomas’ “dear friend” Harlan Crow at The Washingtonian: Clarence Thomas’s Billionaire Benefactor Collects Hitler Artifacts. Harlan Crow also reportedly has a garden full of dictator statues.

When Republican megadonor Harlan Crow isn’t lavishing Justice Clarence Thomas with free trips on his private plane and yacht (in possible violation of Supreme Court ethics rules), he lives a quiet life in Dallas among his historical collections. These collections include Hitler artifacts—two of his paintings of European cityscapes, a signed copy of Mein Kampf, and assorted Nazi memorabilia—plus a garden full of statues of the 20th century’s worst despots.

Crow, the billionaire heir to a real estate fortune, has said that he’s filled his property with these mementoes because he hates communism and fascism. Nonetheless, his collections caused an uproar back in 2015 when Marco Rubio attended a fundraiser at Crow’s house on the eve of Yom Kippur. Rubio’s critics thought the timing was inappropriate given, you know, the Hitler stuff. 

“I still can’t get over the collection of Nazi memorabilia,” says one person who attended an event at Crow’s home a few years ago and asked to remain anonymous. “It would have been helpful to have someone explain the significance of all the items. Without that context, you sort of just gasp when you walk into the room.” One memorable aspect was the paintings: “something done by George W. Bush next to a Norman Rockwell next to one by Hitler.” They also said it was “startling” and “strange” to see the dictator sculptures in the backyard.

In 2014, when Crow’s house was included in a public tour of historic homes, a reporter from the Dallas Morning News visited. Apparently, Crow was visibly uncomfortable with questions about his dictator statues and Hitler memorabilia, preferring to discuss his other historical collections: documents signed by the likes of Christopher Columbus and George Washington; paintings by Renoir and Monet; statues of two of Crow’s heroes, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. 

But despite Crow’s discomfort, the reporter did manage to see the garden of dictator statues, describing it as a “historical nod to the facts of man’s inhumanity to man.” Among the figures in the “Garden of Evil” are Lenin and Stalin, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, and Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito. 

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk thinks he knows more than the FDA scientists

The Washington Post: Texas judge suspends FDA approval of abortion pill; second judge protects access.

The status of a key abortion medication was cast into uncertainty Friday night when rulings from two federal judges reached contradictory conclusions, with one jurist blocking U.S. government approval of the drug while the other said the pill should remain available in a swath of states.

The dueling opinions — one from Texas and the other from Washington state — concern access to mifepristone, the medicationused in more than half of all abortions in the United States and follow the Supreme Court’s elimination of the constitutional right to the procedure last year. It appears inevitable the issue will move to the high court, and the conflicting decisions could make that sooner rather than later.

The highly anticipated and unprecedented ruling from Texas puts on hold the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, which was cleared for use in the United States in 2000. It was the first time a judge suspended longtime FDA approval of a medication despite opposition from the agency and the drug’s manufacturer. The ruling will not go into effect for seven days to give the government time to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, a nominee of President Donald Trump with long-held antiabortion views, agreed with the conservative groups seeking to reverse the FDA’s approval of mifepristone as safe and effective, including in states where abortion rights are protected.

“The Court does not second-guess FDA’s decision-making lightly,” Kacsmaryk wrote in the 67-page opinion. “But here, FDA acquiesced on its legitimate safety concerns — in violation of its statutory duty — based on plainly unsound reasoning and studies that did not support its conclusions.” He added that the agency had faced “significant political pressure” to “increase ‘access’ to chemical abortion.”

In a competing opinion late Friday, a federal judge in Washington state ruled in a separate case involving mifepristone that the drug is safe and effective. U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, ordered the FDA to preserve “the status quo” and retain access in the 17 states — along with D.C. — that are behind the second lawsuit, which seeks to protect medication abortion.

c2d445c9da7f2aad39372d58cad7c473Mark Joseph Stern at Slate: The Lawless Ruling Against the Abortion Pill Has Already Prompted a Constitutional Crisis. This unprecedented abuse of judicial power with no basis in law or fact will soon force the Supreme Court’s hand.

On Friday evening, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas issued an unprecedented decision withdrawing the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the first drug used in medication abortion, 23 years after it was first approved. His order, which applies nationwide, marks the first time in history that a court has claimed the authority to single-handedly pull a drug from the market, a power that courts do not, in fact, have. Kacsmaryk’s ruling is indefensible from top to bottom and will go down in history as one of the judiciary’s most shocking and lawless moments. It goes even further than expected, raising the possibility that he will impose “fetal personhood,” which holds that every state must ban abortion because it murders a human. Within an hour of its release, the decision also spurred the start of a constitutional crisis: A federal judge in Washington swiftly issued a dueling injunction compelling the FDA to continue allowing mifepristone in 17 states and District of Columbia, which brought a separate suit in Washington.

Kacsmaryk stayed his decision for one week to let the Biden administration appeal, but his ruling stands a good chance of being upheld at the radically conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If his order takes effect, the FDA will be faced with competing, mutually exclusive court orders requiring the agency to simultaneously suspend mifepristone nationwide and preserve access to the drug in 18 blue jurisdictions. The agency cannot comply with both orders at once. And because Kacsmaryk’s is broader, covering all 50 states, it guarantees that mifepristone will be suspended in much of the country. Only the Supreme Court can resolve this looming crisis, and it has a very limited window of time in which to do so. It has been less than a year since the court claimed to rid itself of the abortion issue. Now it must decide whether American patients will lose access to an abortion drug that has been on the market for 23 years and proven safer than Tylenol—on the order of a single, rogue judge.

It is probably impossible to count how many errors, exaggerations, and lies Kacsmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee, put in his decision. The judge appears to have largely copied and pasted the briefs filed by the anti-abortion group that filed the suit, the Alliance Defending Freedom, rephrasing their arguments as his own analysis. (This was predictable—Kacsmaryk himself is a staunch anti-abortion activist—and might be why ADF handpicked him specifically to hear the case for them.) His decision repeats the ridiculous and objectively false conspiracy theory about mifepristone—that the FDA illegally rushed its approval in 2000 at the behest of former President Bill Clinton, the pharmaceutical industry, and population control advocates. Kacsmaryk flyspecked the FDA’s assessment of the drug, concluding that its studies were insufficient and that the agency “acquiesced to the pressure to increase access to chemical abortion at the expense of women’s safety.” And he claimed that he had authority to revisit an FDA approval that occurred 23 years ago because the agency happens to have changed rules around the dispensation of the drug several times since.

This is all completely absurd, an outrageous abuse of power that no judge has ever even attempted before. Challenges to agency actions have a six-year statute of limitations. That means plaintiffs get a full six years to file a lawsuit, after which point they’ve waited too long. It has, just to reiterate, been more than two decades since the FDA approved mifepristone. Kascmaryk ignored that limitation in his quest to block the drug because, he insisted, the agency hadn’t responded quickly enough to citizen petitions opposing the drug. That is not the law.

Read the rest at Slate.

Classified Documents Released

The New York Times: New Batch of Classified Documents Appears on Social Media Sites.

A new batch of classified documents that appear to detail American national security secrets from Ukraine to the Middle East to China surfaced on social media sites on Friday, alarming the Pentagon and adding turmoil to a situation that seemed to have caught the Biden administration off guard.

Pussy-Willows-and-catThe scale of the leak — analysts say more than 100 documents may have been obtained — along with the sensitivity of the documents themselves, could be hugely damaging, U.S. officials said. A senior intelligence official called the leak “a nightmare for the Five Eyes,” in a reference to the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the so-called Five Eyes nations that broadly share intelligence.

The latest documents were found on Twitter and other sites on Friday, a day after senior Biden administration officials said they were investigating a potential leak of classified Ukrainian war plans, include an alarming assessment of Ukraine’s faltering air defense capabilities. One slide, dated Feb. 23, is labeled “Secret/NoForn,” meaning it was not meant to be shared with foreign countries.

The Justice Department said it had opened an investigation into the leaks and was in communication with the Defense Department but declined to comment further.

A bit more:

Early Friday, senior national security officials dealing with the initial leak, which was first reported by The New York Times, said a new worry had arisen: Was that information the only intelligence that was leaked?

By Friday afternoon, they had their answer. Even as officials at the Pentagon and national security agencies were investigating the source of documents that had appeared on Twitter and on Telegram, another surfaced on 4chan, an anonymous, fringe message board. The 4chan document is a map that purports to show the status of the war in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the scene of a fierce, monthslong battle.

But the leaked documents appear to go well beyond highly classified material on Ukraine war plans. Security analysts who have reviewed the documents tumbling onto social media sites say the increasing trove also includes sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism.

Read more at the NYT.

Reuters: Russia likely behind U.S. military document leak, U.S. officials say.

Russia or pro-Russian elements are likely behind the leak of several classified U.S. military documents posted on social media that offer a partial, month-old snapshot of the war in Ukraine, three U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, while the Justice Department said separately it was probing the leak.

The documents appear to have been altered to lower the number of casualties suffered by Russian forces, the U.S. officials said, adding their assessments were informal and separate from the investigation into the leak itself….

An initial batch of documents circulated on sites including Twitter and Telegram, dated March 1 and bearing markings showing them classified as “Secret” and “Top Secret.”

Later on Friday, an additional batch appearing to detail U.S. national security secrets pertaining to areas including Ukraine, the Middle East and China surfaced on social media, the New York Times reported….

The U.S. Justice Department said late on Friday it was in touch with the Defense Department and began a probe into the leak. It declined further comment.

A leak of such sensitive documents is highly unusual.

“We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the Department (of Defense) is reviewing the matter,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said.

A CIA spokesperson said the agency was also aware of the posts and was looking into the claims.

Twitter News

The New York Times: Twitter Takes Aim at Posts That Link to Its Rival Substack.

On Wednesday, the newsletter service Substack announced that it had built a Twitter competitor. On Thursday, Twitter prevented Substack writers from sharing tweets in their newsletters. And on Friday, Twitter took steps to block Substack newsletters from circulating on the platform.


Marc Chagall, The cat and the two sparrows

Twitter’s move to swat an upstart was an abrupt deviation from normal behavior among internet companies and publishers. It also provided more grist for critics who say that while Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, has often hailed the importance of free speech, he has not shied from restricting competitors and content that he doesn’t like.

The new fight with a young company is the latest controversy in MTr. Musk’s chaotic ownership of Twitter, which he acquired about six months ago. He has laid off more than 75 percent of its employees, has been sued by commercial landlords for failing to pay office rent and has lost advertisers.

While Mr. Musk has long clashed with mainstream news outlets, targeting Substack largely affects independent writers, some of whom depend on Twitter to drive readers to their work….

Substack’s founders, Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie and Jairaj Sethi, said in a statement that they were “disappointed” by Twitter’s decision to stifle engagement with any tweets that featured a Substack link.

“Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else,” they said. “This abrupt change is a reminder of why writers deserve a model that puts them in charge, that rewards great work with money and that protects the free press and free speech.”

Read more at the NYT.

One hilarious result of this decision by Musk is that Matt Taibbi–Musk’s chosen “Twitter Files” propaganda author–has left Twitter because his mainly uses it to drive readers to his Substack page. Musk responded by unfollowing Taibbi. This guy really is worse than Trump.

Ars Technica: Twitter lawyer quits as Musk’s legal woes expand, report says.

After the Federal Trade Commission launched a probe into Twitter over privacy concerns, Twitter’s negotiations with the FTC do not seem to be going very well. Last week, it was revealed that Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s request last year for a meeting with FTC Chair Lina Khan was rebuffed. Now, a senior Twitter lawyer, Christian Dowell—who was closely involved in those FTC talks—has resigned, several people familiar with the matter told The New York Times.

Dowell joined Twitter in 2020 and rose in the ranks after several of Twitter’s top lawyers exited or were fired once Musk took over the platform in the fall of 2022, Bloomberg reported. Most recently, Dowell—who has not yet confirmed his resignation—oversaw Twitter’s product legal counsel. In that role, he was “intimately involved” in the FTC negotiations, sources told the Times, including coordinating Twitter’s responses to FTC inquiries.

The FTC has overseen Twitter’s privacy practices for more than a decade after it found that the platform failed to safeguard personal information and issued a consent order in 2011. The agency launched its current probe into Twitter’s operations after Musk began mass layoffs that seemed to introduce new security concerns, AP News reported. The Times reported that the FTC’s investigation intensified after security executives quit Twitter over concerns that Musk might be violating the FTC’s privacy decree….

If the Times’ report is accurate, it’s unclear who will replace Dowell as Twitter’s senior product counsel overseeing FTC negotiations. Musk recently stopped relying on his personal lawyer to chip in at Twitter, but the Times reported that he has seemingly continued to seek guidance from lawyers at SpaceX, one of his other companies.

While the FTC probe remains ongoing, Musk’s layoffs have seemingly ensured that Twitter’s legal woes will continue compounding. Not only is Twitter seeking legal action against the suspected ex-employee who leaked Twitter source code on Github, but Twitter is also currently involved in individual arbitration with hundreds, if not thousands, of ex-employees who were not allowed to join a class-action lawsuit over allegedly missing severance payments and lost wages.

Click the link to read the rest.

I know I’ve given you a lot of reading material, so take what you want and leave the rest. I hope you all have a nice Easter weekend, however you choose to celebrate or not celebrate. The good news is that Spring is on the way.

18 Comments on “Lazy Caturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Happy Spring!!

  2. bostonboomer says:
    • MsMass says:

      Maybe it’s a cascading route for the indictments? Start off with Stormy, escalate to Georgia, and the piece de resistance- Jack Smith and the documents. I’m rubbing my hands with glee.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I think there’s a good chance that Jack Smith will indict Trump long before the trial in Manhattan.

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    I’m so exhausted by all this chaos. It’s like a daily nightmare and still part of the Trumpist insanity. This feels like we’re tipping toward civil war, and I can’t believe I’m thinking or saying this. How can we stop these nutty judges when all roads lead to a corrupt and nutty supreme court majority? Every school child likely requires ongoing therapy by now. I can’t imagine the shooter drills, and I have to say I’m glad I don’t have to go daily to a campus anymore. It makes me want to stay home and ensure I know no version of MGT or Gosar is wandering around in my neighborhood. It’s crazy-making!

  5. MsMass says:

    It strikes me that unfortunately the expulsion of the Tennessee lawmakers has eclipsed the gun control protests. Could that have been part of the republican strategy? They are manipulative fuckers.

  6. dakinikat says:

    and more on the Crows “Trammell Crow Jr. Named in Human Trafficking Case” The Dallas Express from March 22,2023

    • dakinikat says:

  7. dakinikat says:

    And another WTF moment?

    Iowa Won’t Pay For Rape Victims’ Abortions Or Contraceptives
    The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has paused its practice of paying for emergency contraception, and in rare cases abortions, for victims of sexual assault.

    The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has paused its practice of paying for emergency contraception — and in rare cases, abortions — for victims of sexual assault, a move that drew criticism from some victim advocates.

    Federal regulations and state law require Iowa to pay many of the expenses for sexual assault victims who seek medical help, such as the costs of forensic exams and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Under the previous attorney general, Democrat Tom Miller, Iowa’s victim compensation fund also paid for Plan B, the so-called morning after pill, as well as other treatments to prevent pregnancy.

    • NW Luna says:

      Cruelty on top of trauma.

      • quixote says:

        Which is the point. You’re not going to keep an underclass in line without flogging and killing a few. Pour encourager les autres as the French upper crust once put it.

        You’re not going to maintain male white supremacy without an underclass.

        This stuff is not some oversight because they didn’t understand the consequences of their actions. It’s the point.

        And the point of really taking on board the understanding of where their heads are at is: there is no way to live together with people who see you as an underclass.

        They either have to be massively defeated by votes and then energetic government, or, as dakinikat was saying, civil war looms. We can’t believe it, I can’t believe it, but that’s how all the evidence points.

  8. NW Luna says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      • dakinikat says:

        Perry, an Army sergeant, was working as an Uber driver in Austin on the night of July 25, 2020, when he ran a red light at an intersection downtown and drove into a Black Lives Matter march before stopping.

        Foster, carrying an AK-47 rifle, was among a group of protesters who approached his car. Perry told police that Foster threatened him by raising the barrel of his rifle at him, so he shot him five times with a .357 revolver through the window of his car before driving away.

        Perry’s defense team argued that he acted in self-defense, but prosecutors contended that Perry instigated what happened.

        The two-week trial, which included dozens of witnesses and forensic evidence, was not broadcast. Abbott attended no portion of the trial.

        Abbott’s office did not return calls from the American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network, on Saturday seeking additional comment.

        Prosecutors said Perry had plenty of other choices, including driving away before he fired his revolver. They highlighted a series of social media posts and Facebook messages in which made statements that they said indicated his state of mind, such as might “kill a few people on my way to work. They are rioting outside my apartment complex.”

        A friend responded, “Can you legally do so?” Perry replied, “If they attack me or try to pull me out of my car then yes.”

  10. dakinikat says:

    U.S. Army Sgt. Guilty in Murder of BLM Protester
    In July 2020, Daniel Perry drove his car into a crowd protesting police brutality and shot Garrett Foster multiple times through his driver’s side window